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City of Shadows: Sydney Police Photographs 1912-1948


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Sunday, February 25, 2007

City of Shadows: Sydney Police Photographs 1912-1948

City of Shadows: Sydney Police Photographs 1912-1948 by Peter Doyle


Like Paolo Roversi crossed with Weegee

This is definitely one of my new favorite books.

If I do a book at somepoint I only hope that someday, somebody is as moved by my work as i am the the images in this book.

I am in Paris so I am not able to get the American version of Amazon but I'm sure you could get it through them or B&

Comments on "City of Shadows: Sydney Police Photographs 1912-1948"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:15 AM) : 

These books you post about seem to be really interesting, but unfortunatly I haven't kept track of any of them. Is there anyway you'd be able to list all these books you've recommended in one of those add ons you've put in? My apologizes if you already have.


Blogger Elizabeth said ... (9:47 AM) : 

Agreed, these images are evocative, fantastic, and even somewhat prying!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:11 AM) : 

Hey Sart, cant enlarge these photos?


Blogger Miriam Parkman said ... (10:20 AM) : 

Oh! I love old photographs!
Finally someone else who also can see the beaty with the "old" way of photographing, the digital way can never make such magic in one picture. My grandmother unfortunately just died, but she left a full paperbag with old, fantastic photograps! She was born 1908, so she had been trough a lot in her life... She was very beautiful and quite stylish, and luckily i have inherit some of her jewellery. I think the most important thing with those photographs is, that even if it was almost a hundred years ago, my granny for example have the same crazy pics with her friends and the same adorable and happy pics with her fiancés as i do, today. That's why i'm really glad you've also posted some of this important history!
(and, i'm sick today, so this made me feel a bit better!)

And by the way, i especially like the second lady and the last gentlemen in your post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:27 AM) : 

Wow! Those are stunning! And as I'm a long time lurker, I want to tell you that I love your blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:37 PM) : 

yes yes yes to these evocative can only begin to imagine their stories..recently I was in Canberra (Australia) at the National Portrait exhibition on the Oz Police Force...a photo of a group of men in Sydney...they'd been captured..maybe from The Razor Gang (the weapon of choice at the time :-()..the hats worn..with as ease chic style!


Blogger Greentea said ... (5:35 PM) : 

These are just amazing
they capture such emotion.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:57 PM) : 


to get the book


Blogger Laurence John said ... (7:35 PM) : 


reminds me of Deborah Turbeville too.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:59 PM) : 

the first guy has the look that women like- the bad boy look. Plus he's stylish. I love his hat and his posture on the chair.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:48 PM) : 

Are you saying that these are "mug shots?"

If so, wow!

Madame "3ieme age" with the hat has the most interesting look!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:50 PM) : 

As one of your Sydney readers, I'm glad you love the photos from what was a superb exhibition.

As the book is a government publication (published by the Historic Houses Trust), the book can be purchased online:

yes, they ship internationally :)

Thanks for your wonderful work; love your blog!


Blogger Luisa said ... (9:57 PM) : 

Ah my boyfriend has this book. It's fantastic, and if I remember correctly, he got it for a song from a bookstore here in Sydney.


Blogger Anastasia said ... (11:37 PM) : 

great images! interesting faces and characters
Im sure they had an exhibition at the Justice & Police musuem in Sydney recently - not sure if its still on....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:19 AM) : 

great photographs - love the over exposure and the gritty backdrops. i have a lovely collection of old, old postcards from 120 years ago that you have just reminded me of - must dig them out again... thank you.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:39 AM) : 

karl lagerfeld was talking about this book to cathy horyn recently (see her blog).


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:00 AM) : 

Sart: do a book list!

And the first gent makes me feel all tingly, I must admit.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:18 PM) : 

Why are they called "police photographs"? Were those peole photographed in jail cells?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:08 PM) : 

I could have swore that the first guy in a cool hat is Jean Paul Belmondo.
This cat is cool so as JP.
Hey wipper-snappers rewrd yourself rent "Breathless". You will thank me.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:59 PM) : 

Hey Sart, I think someone at the Sydney Morning Herald reads your blog:
I was very chuffed to read about it over breakfast!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:50 PM) :

ah...The Sartorialist mentioned in The Sydney Morning Herald!...


Blogger Rare Autumn said ... (11:05 AM) : 

absolutely beautiful and inspiring! thank you! just had to go on the blog...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:38 AM) : 

It's a great book that was inspired by 'Scene of the Crime: Photographs from the LAPD Archive' which is available through Amazon:

There is also an extraordinary gallery site for the archive:

The U.S. version is certainly more hard-hitting than the Australian!


Blogger 'signorina' said ... (10:35 PM) : 

Sart, one of the things that stayed with me from this exhibition was how many of the corpses, in crime scene pics, were missing one shoe.

I recently read that it's common to so many cultures - that people go shoeless or limping into the world of the dead. Know this is a fashion blog, but it kind of gives meaning to "waiting for the other shoe to drop".

It was an amazing exhibition - so many of the subjects have those piercing "streetwise" eyes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:31 PM) : 

I loved the exhibition (finished in February 07) ... and will be buying the book as soon as I can. I was sated with such fascinating photos.

The mug shots are amazing, because it's the only place to have taken such 'natural' mug shots ... the first 4 or so were traditional front & side views, and then changed to this style.

Whoever asked, they were taken in the cells, or in the toilets at the back of police stations.

It's easy to forget that for most of the people it was likely to be the only time their photo was taken, so quite a few look really perky.


Blogger Marce!0 said ... (11:36 AM) : 

hello Ivan
those are lovely pics.. very similar to the bullberry add campain for 2003 or 2004 with stella tenant..
see you.


Anonymous jduy said ... (1:14 PM) : 

If you haven't come across Eugene Atget, a French photographer from the early 19th century, you must check out his work. He did a lot of architectural photos of Paris, but he also did some phenomenal portraits. There is one of a girl standing next to a stern-looking hurdy gurdy man and the girl is bursting with joy, waving at someone behind and above the photographer. Her expression, and the contrast with the man next to her, always moves me, no matter what mood I'm in.


Blogger Miel said ... (10:42 PM) : 

"If I do a book at somepoint I only hope that someday, somebody is as moved by my work as i am the the images in this book."

Now that you have, I can say you've succeeded :)


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